FAQs about Hosting a J-1


Pre-arrival

1. What is a J-1 visa?

The J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign nationals to enter the U.S. to participate in an exchange visitor program to promote the sharing of knowledge and skills in education, arts and science.

2. What are the J-1 categories?

There are several categories for a J-1 visa holder. The categories and descriptions are listed on the IPSO website under Authorized Categories of Sponsorship.

3. How long may a J-1 visit the u.s.?

Visits range anywhere from 1 day to 5 years depending on the J-1 category. For more information about time limits of a J-1 program see Authorized Categories of Sponsorship.

4. When screening a potential candidate for a J-1 visa at augusta university what should i consider?

  1. What is the reason the candidate wants to come to Augusta University? Is a J-1 visa appropriate?
  2. How much time will be needed to complete the J program activities?
  3. Are the credentials, publications and other information listed on the CV sufficient and credible for a J-1 visa? Are they verifiable?
  4. If you are not offering the candidate employment, are his or her financial resources sufficient to meet the requirements of a J-1 program at Augusta University? Visit the IPSO webpage under Financial Resources to view the required funding.
  5. Is the candidate's English proficient? The English language must be proficient and confirmed in order to be considered for a J-1 program.
  6. If a J-1 is bringing a spouse who also wants to be considered for a J-1 visa, consider if J-2 dependent status or another status is more appropriate for the potential candidate.

5. What credentials must a J-1 possess in order to participate in a J-1 program at Augusta University?

The Department of State requires all J-1 Scholars have academic credentials and experience appropriate to the field of endeavor. To participate in a J-1 program at Augusta University, the individual must have earned the equivalent of at least a bachelor’s degree, except for those in the Student or Student Intern categories. J-1s who are offered employment must meet the qualifications of the Augusta University appointment title offered to them.

6. What am I responsible for as a faculty host or department manager to a J-1?

  1. Submitting all required documentation to IPSO for all non-U.S. citizens who will be issued a Form DS-2019 at Augusta University.
  2. Verifying the validity of funding for incoming J-1s. Original funding documents are required before we may release the Form DS-2019.
  3. Monitoring the J-1's arrival dates and informing IPSO of possible delays.
  4. Notifying IPSO if the J-1 decides not to come at all.
  5. Scheduling an appointment with IPSO as soon as the J-1 arrives in the U.S.
  6. Providing a workspace and computer (if available).
  7. Introducing the J-1 to department staff and students.
  8. Orienting the J-1 to the campus including on-campus libraries, classrooms and labs, etc.
  9. Ensuring the J-1 is fully engaged in the J program activities. This means the J-1 must spend a minimum of 30 hours per week conducting research, observing, teaching or consulting in the subject field described on the Form DS 2019.
  10. Meeting with the J-1 on a regular basis to observe, collaborate and oversee the research efforts.
  11. Engaging the J-1 in campus-wide or community, cross-cultural activities, such as sporting events, theatrical plays and concerts, etc.
  12. Ensuring mandatory compliance with all provisions of Augusta University’s policies and the Exchange Visitor Program.
  13. Notifying IPSO if you intend to extend or end the program activities for a J-1.

7. What are some examples of activities that a faculty host or department manager may expect of a J-1?

  1. Deliver at least one public presentation at a departmental and/or college level.
  2. Participate as a guest speaker or lecturer at a department or campus seminar.
  3. Submit a report of achievements, presentations and research efforts.
  4. Enroll in or audit classes (Augusta University student tuition and fees may apply) for research development.

8. What should i communicate before inviting the visitor to augusta university?

Communicate both verbally and via email your requirements and expectations before sending the invitation letter. An open communication between you and the J-1 should alleviate any misunderstanding that may arise once the J-1 arrives in the U.S. to begin the J program. In your communication discuss:

  1. Your performance expectations, activity schedule and number of hours per week you would like the J-1 to spend on J program activities.
  2. Any required activities that will require extra funding such as auditing or enrolling in classes.
  3. Any other details of the program that you feel will enhance the experience of the J-1 visitor.

9. What should i communicate in the invitation letter to the J-1?

IPSO has created an invitation template for your convenience. Once you submit an Immigration Consultation Request Form and it’s approved, our office will email instructions to complete the request for J-1 Processing. The invitation template letter is included in the instructions. All requirements, expectations and estimated costs such as tuition and fees should be clearly outlined in the invitation letter.

10. What can i do if the J-1 fails or refuses to meet the j program expectations outlined in the invitation/offer letter?

Documented failure or refusal to comply with J program requirements is justification to terminate the J-1’s program.  J program termination requires the J-1 to exit the U.S. immediately. A termination is a negative action and must be reported to the U. S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 

*11. What is the form DS-2019?*

The Form DS-2019 or "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status" is the basic document used in the administration of the exchange visitor program.

*12. Why does the prospective J-1 scholar (or J-2 dependent) need the form DS-2019?*

This form permits a prospective exchange visitor to seek an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in order to obtain a J visa to enter the United States. The Form DS-2019 identifies the exchange visitor and the designated sponsor and provides a brief description of the exchange visitor’s program, including the start and end date, category of exchange, and an estimate of the cost of the exchange program.

*13. What is the first step in inviting/employing a J-1 scholar?*

Department managers and faculty hosts who are interested in inviting or employing visitors will need to complete an Immigration Consultation Request Form. The information provided will help to determine if the individual is eligible for a J-1 visa.  If the individual is eligible for a J-1 visa, the director of International and Postdoctoral Services Office will decide which category is appropriate. An e-mail will be sent to the department manager or faculty host with complete instructions on what to submit for J-1 Processing.

*14. After i’ve submitted a complete form DS-2019 processing packet how long will it take to receive the form DS-2019?*

The Form DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for the J-1 will be ready for pick-up in the IPSO office within 30 days (45 days for a J Student Intern request) pending a complete and correct J-1 processing packet. An email from our office will be sent to you once the Form DS-2019 is ready. The original funding documents received from the visitor must be provided to IPSO before the Form DS-2019 is released.

*15. When may the visitor schedule the visa interview?*

The J-1 may schedule the visa interview once the Form DS 2019 has been received and the SEVIS FMJ Form I-901 fee has been paid.

*16. What is sevis?*

SEVIS stands for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. SEVIS is a nationwide, internet-based system that the U.S. government uses to maintain accurate and current information on non-immigrant students and visitors and their dependents. 

*17. Who is responsible for paying the sevis (form I-901) fee and other visa fees?*

The J-1 is responsible for paying the SEVIS FMJ Form I-901 fee and all visa processing fees.

*18. How soon can the J-1 arrive in the u.s. after receiving the visa?*

The J-1 may arrive in the U.S. up to 30 days before the most recent program begin date in SEVIS. This may or may not be the date on the most recent Form DS-2019. 

*19. What happens if the J-1 is delayed?*

If the J-1 is unable to arrive in the U.S. by the program begin date, the department manager or faculty host must notify IPSO as soon as possible to request an amended Form DS-2019. A new Form DS-2019 is not necessarily required. The information in the SEVIS electronic database is available to the U.S. embassy personnel where the J-1 applied for the J-1 visa, at the port-of-entry (airport, land or seaport) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

*20. What happens if I fail to notify you of the J-1’s delay?*

Failure to notify IPSO immediately if the J-1 will not arrive at Augusta University on or before the program begin date listed on the Form DS-2019 may result in the invalidation of the SEVIS record and the Form DS-2019. An invalid record may result in denial of the visa application and/or refusal of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers to allow entry into the U.S. 

*21. If the sevis record becomes invalid can this be corrected?*

Yes. To correct an invalid record the J-1 must submit an application for reinstatement and pay an application fee. The current application fee is ($367 as of December 2016, subject to change) and may not be paid by Augusta University. The reinstatement application must be submitted to and adjudicated favorably by the U.S. Department of State prior to the J-1 beginning the J program activities at Augusta University.

*22. Where can i find pre-arrival information for the J-1?*

A Pre-arrival Guide may be found on the IPSO website. The information contained in the Pre-arrival Guide should answer most questions a J-1 may have before arriving in the U.S.

*23. When should the J-1 book a flight to come to the u.s.?*

Once the visa is obtained the J-1 may schedule the flight and make travel arrangements. The cost of travel is the responsibility of the J-1. If for any reason the visa application process is delayed or denied the costs spent on travel arrangements may not be recoverable.

*24. Should the J-1 purchase insurance before arriving in the u.s.?*

No. Augusta University has designated insurance plans that meet the requirements per regulation 22 CFR, Section 62.14. The J-1 will be required to purchase insurance within 24 hours of the program validation in SEVIS. More information about J-1 program insurance requirements is shared on the IPSO website.

*25. How much money should the J-1 bring to cover necessary move-in costs and other related expenses?*

The J-1 should bring $5,000 to $6,000 to cover expenses. Additional funds may be required if the J-1 is accompanied by J-2 dependents. It is advisable that the visitor obtain a credit card to cover immediate expenses such as insurance premiums that are due 24 hours after validating the program.

*26. If the J-1 is offered employment at augusta university is it necessary to bring additional funds to cover expenses?*

Yes. Before the J-1 can be placed on the Augusta University payroll and begin J program employment a social security number and card with an assigned number is needed to complete the Human Resources on-boarding process. If there is a delay in acquiring a Social Security card the J-1 will be required to address all expenses while the application is pending. These costs are not recoverable and may not be reimbursed to the J-1.

Arrival

1. When the J-1 arrives in the u.s. what am i required to do?

To ensure the visitor is welcomed into a professional but warm environment, IPSO recommends the following:

  1. Make arrangements for the J-1 to be transported from the airport to Augusta University or the hotel accommodations.
  2. Assist the J-1 in locating housing.
  3. Easing the arrival, offer to take the J-1 to a nice restaurant or food store.
  4. Assign a staff member or another J-1 in your department (preferably someone who speaks the same language) to shadow the visitor until he/she has adjusted to life in the U.S.
  5. Lastly, schedule an appointment with IPSO to complete the IPSO J program requirements.

*2. When must i notify ipso of the J-1’s arrival to augusta university?*

The faculty host or department manager must notify IPSO immediately to schedule a validation appointment. The J-1 will come to our office to complete an immigration check-in and SEVIS program validation. Validating the program reports the presence of the J-1 and any accompanying J-2 dependents to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of State. The department manager or faculty host is required to attend at least one validation appointment per year. 

The J-1 is expected to be proficient in English, however, if you feel the J-1 appears to be uncomfortable communicating in English as a newly-arrived visitor to the U.S., we advise that you send a translator who is fluent in English and the J-1’s first language to avoid any miscommunications. IPSO does not have in-house translators.

3. What occurs during the validation appointment?

  1. The J-1’s presence is reported to U.S. Immigrations & Customs Enforcement and U.S. Department of State by entering the current local residential address of the J-1 visitor in SEVIS. Therefore the visitor must have a current local address before the validation can occur.
  2. The J-1 program begin date is amended, if necessary.
  3. The J-1 is informed of when to go to the Social Security Office. (Must be at least 10 days after entry into the U.S. and 3 days after the J program validation.)
  4. The J program orientation appointment is scheduled and the J-1 is given a J program orientation folder.
  5. The J-1 is asked to review the contents of the J program orientation folder before attending the scheduled orientation appointment. The J-1 may also visit the online Orientation Guide found on the IPSO website.

4. What should the J-1 bring to the validation appointment?

The J-1 and any accompanying J-2 dependents must bring the following original documents to the appointment:

  1. Valid Passport
  2. Visa
  3. Valid Form DS-2019
  4. Valid Form I-94 (most recent)
  5. Current local address and phone number where the J-1 resides at the time of the appointment. (A local residential address is required for J program validation.)
  6. The J-1 and any accompanying J-2 dependents will be required to purchase and show proof of insurance meeting the Augusta University J program requirements within 24 hours of validating the J program in SEVIS.

5. What are the j program insurance requirements?

The U.S. Department of State requirements for health insurance may be found on the IPSO website under Health Insurance. J-1s and accompanying J-2s are required to enroll in an insurance plan that meets the health insurance requirements for the duration of the J-1 program.

  1. Augusta University has mandatory designated insurance plans that meet the health insurance requirements. The J-1 and accompanying J-2(s) must enroll in one of these plans.
  2. The employed J-1 will be required to purchase and show proof of insurance in 1-month increments while waiting for HR on-boarding.
  3. The J-1 exchange visitor affiliate will be required to purchase insurance in 6-month increments.
  4. The J-1 must purchase insurance coverage within 24 hours after J-1 validation. Proof of insurance will be due in the IPSO office within 1 (one) business day of program validation.

6. Why is a j program orientation required?

Federal Regulation 22 CFR 62.10 (c) states the J program sponsor, Augusta University, must offer and record participation in an appropriate orientation for all J-1s. The J-1 is responsible for the information provided in the orientation.

*7. What happens at the orientation session?*

During the appointment there will be a review of the information provided in the J program orientation folder. The Orientation Guide found on the IPSO website also covers the information found in the Orientation folder.

*8. When may the J-1 apply for the social security number (ssn) and card?*

At least 10 calendar days after entry to the U.S. and at least 3 working days after J program validation.

*9. Why must the J-1 wait to apply for the social security number (ssn) and card?*

Applying for the Social Security number before the dates listed above may delay the process of receiving the SSN and card for weeks or months.

*10. What must the J-1 take with them to apply for the ssn?*

 

  1. Valid Passport
  2. Visa (If they have one for the current visa type, may be expired.)
  3. Valid Form DS-2019
  4. Valid Form I-94
  5. Employment offer letter or abbreviated invitation letter.

*11. How soon after j program validation may the newly hired J-1 employee begin work activities? *

The newly-hired J-1 at Augusta University may not begin work or any work-related activities until the IPSO J program requirements are met and the Human Resources on-boarding is completed.

*12. How soon after J program validation may the exchange visitor affiliate (non-paid visitor) begin the j program activities?*

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Affiliate (non-paid visitor) at Augusta University may not begin the J program activities until the IPSO J program requirements are met and the Augusta University badging process is completed.

*13. Who is responsible for assuring that the J-1 receives badging, parking and other related on-boarding processes through human resources?*

The department manager or faculty host is responsible for handling all HR on-boarding processing.

Post-arrival

1. Is monitoring the J-1’s activities and location of activities required?

Yes. The host must ensure that the activities in which the J-1 is engaged are consistent with the category and activity listed on the Form DS-2019. The J-1 is allowed to engage ONLY in the activities described on the Form DS-2019 and for the length of time indicated.

In addition, the host department must ensure that the J-1 is fully engaged in the J program activities. This means the J-1 must spend a minimum of 30 hours per week conducting research, observing, teaching or consulting in the subject field described on the Form DS-2019.

The host should also monitor the physical location (site of activity) and the progress and welfare of the J-1 to the extent appropriate for the category.

2. Does the J-1 have to conduct the research at the location notated on the form DS-2019?

Yes, the J-1 must conduct the program activities at the primary site identified on the Form DS 2019. However, more than one site may be added to the SEVIS record if activities are occasionally conducted at other sites.

3. If I want to extend the program of a J-1 in my department, what is the process?

We will process a J program extension up to 6 months in advance of the current J program end date. The J-1 should request an appointment for a J program extension using IPSO’s Request Appointment form. We will respond to the faculty host, department manager and J-1 with detailed instructions of what is required to extend a J program.

*4. What if I choose not to extend a J-1’s program, the program objectives have been completed or the j program will end as noted on the most recent form DS-2019?*

The department manager or faculty host should complete and submit the Notification of Change of Activity/Termination form. We will respond via email when the final DS-2019 is ready for pick-up.

*5. What if the J-1 fails or refuses to meet the J program expectations outlined?*

The host should collect documented details of the reasons for failure or refusal to comply with J program requirements. If the J-1 refuses to comply with your expectations of the J program you are justified in terminating the J-1 program. J program termination requires the J-1 to exit the U.S. immediately. Termination of a J program is a negative action and must be reported to the U. S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 

The department manager or faculty host should complete and submit the Notification of Change of Activity/Termination form. We will respond via email when the final DS-2019 is ready for pick-up.

*6. What is required of a J-1 traveling outside the u.s. and upon returning?*

The J-1 must schedule an appointment with IPSO using the online Request Appointment to complete a Travel Endorsement. The J-1 should not travel outside the U.S. without first completing the Travel Endorsement process. The J-1 must bring the following to this appointment:

  1. Valid Passport
  2. Visa (if expired, must renew before reentering the U.S. unless
  3. Most current Form DS 2019
  4. Most current I-94
  5. Letter from department stating the dates of travel and that the J-1 is in good standing.
  6. Upon return, schedule an appointment for travel return.

For detailed information about traveling outside the U.S. visit the Travel section on the IPSO website.

J-2 Dependents

1. Are J-2 dependents permitted to enter the u.s. after the J-1 is already present in the u.s.?

Yes, J-2 dependents may enter separately from the J-1. In fact, IPSO recommends that the J-1 arrive in the U.S. prior to bringing the J-2 dependents. The J-1 will be able to navigate the new city, find housing and establish the necessary needs for living in a new country without the added worry of the dependents.

2. Is it possible to add J-2 dependents to the program after the J-1 has entered the u.s.?

Yes. The J-1 should contact IPSO for additional information.

3. Are J-2 dependents allowed to study while in the u.s.?

Yes. A J-2 spouse may attend classes at any level of study. J-2 children may attend public/private, primary and secondary schools and may also study at a college or university.

4. At what age is a J-2 dependent child required to change status or exit the u.s.?

J-2 children who are approaching the age of 21 must either change their visa status or depart the U.S. prior to their 21st birthday.  Augusta University does not support in-country change-of-status applications.

5. Are J-2 dependents allowed to work while in the u.s.?

Yes, with a valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD). There is a separate application and fee for the EAD. Upon request, IPSO will assist the J-2 dependent with the application to apply for the EAD. Employment for a J-2 dependent is a choice.  Unlike the J-1, the primary function of the J-2 dependent is to accompany the J-1 Scholar.

6. Are J-2 dependents allowed to “volunteer” at augusta university?

If a J-2 dependent engages in an activity that benefits Augusta University and for which someone else receives compensation, this may be considered employment without any express or implied compensation agreement under the Fair Labor & Standards Act (FLSA). 

A J-2 may volunteer, but they may not perform the same or similar activities as someone who is compensated.

IPSO advises J-2 dependents to apply for and receive the Employment Authorization Document to engage in activities (volunteer or otherwise) on any Augusta University campus that require background checks and Augusta University badging.